Vice President Pence at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate blasted Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisObama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech Biden's safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet MORE (D-Calif.) for refusing to say whether she would support expanding the Supreme Court in order to allow a Democratic president to nominate more liberal justices to the bench.
Harris and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Six big off-year elections you might be missing MORE have avoided directly answering the question since it began gaining prominence last month following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgKatie Couric says she felt 'betrayed' by Lauer after sexual assault allegations Couric defends editing of RBG interview Biden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper MORE and President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE’s rapid nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat.
Harris on Wednesday responded to Pence’s repeated prompts about her position on court packing by shifting attention to Senate Republicans’ efforts to fast-track Barrett’s confirmation despite 2020 being an election year, a reversal of Republicans’ rationale for blocking former President Obama’s nominee late in his second term.
“Once again you gave a non-answer, Joe Biden gave a non-answer,” Pence replied. “The American people deserve a straight answer. And if you haven't figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.”
Wednesday’s debate featured numerous instances where the candidates declined to respond directly to questions posed by moderator Susan Page of USA Today.
Moments earlier, Pence dodged a question on whether he would support a total ban of abortions at the state level if the rightward-shifting Supreme Court were to overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion nationwide.
Harris’s side-stepping of the court packing question comes after Biden refused to give a definitive answer on his position during last week's presidential debate.
“Whatever position I take in that, that'll become the issue,” Biden told debate moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceRep. Khanna expresses frustration about Sinema CDC director: 'We can't be complacent' amid drop in COVID-19 cases Chris Wallace labels Psaki 'one of the best press secretaries ever' MORE of Fox News. “The issue is the American people should speak. You’re voting now. Vote, and let your senators know how you feel.”
To pack the court, Democrats would need to retake the White House and Senate and likely abolish the filibuster in order to pass legislation to add seats to the Supreme Court.